After being pretty much on the go for the past two months (since we left Sicily really) we finally slowed down in Guanajuato where we spent a week in a really lovely little apartment on the edge of the UNESCO Heritage listed old town.
As I said in the last post, Guanajuato is also part of the 'silver trail', just a little east of San Miguel de Allende and a colonial marvel as expected. We took things really slowly, with long lazy mornings in the apartment before emerging for a late lunch and a bit of an explore of the town.
It's a university town so full of life. Surely a university is essential for a city's 'liveability' status. There are loads of bars, cafés (best coffee in Mexico yet) and an endless array of really great restaurants.
The culinary highlight was definitely Restaurante Las Mercedes, tucked up in the mountains above Guanajuato in a more upper-class suburb which served up modern interpretations of some Mexican favourites.
Speaking of the mountains, the city is built into a valley a bit over 2000m above sea level. So to manage that, they have built a series of complex tunnel networks though the city which form it's major arteries. They seem to be a really 'lived' thing. There are footpaths that were regularly used (albeit miserable looking), there was 'street' parking and even the occasional bus stand. Have you ever seen a bus stand in a tunnel? I have: Guanajuato.
Guanajuato has two major claims to fame. It was the site of some of the early organised rebellions against the Spanish by the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla which ultimately lead to Mexican independence. Hidalgo is considered one of the fathers of modern Mexico and whose site of execution we saw in Chihuahua (he didn't quite make it to see independence). The other claim to fame is it is the birth place of Diego Rivera, artist, muralist, radical socialist, husband of Frida Kahlo and friend of Leon Trotsky. His childhood home has been preserved and is now a museum with a wide range of his works that span his entire career.
The city is also obsessed with Don Quixote complete with a museum - Museo Iconográfico del Quijote - full of artists impressions of him. Ariane decided he is a subject for art that is not to her taste but we both enjoyed a room full of modern takes on Quixote's hapless squire Sancho Panza. Coincidentally, I'd just started reading The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha just before we arrived.
So now we're in Mexico City where we have an apartment in the suburb of Roma for a month. I'll try and do an update about once a week or so, just so you know we're still here.